There’s a very special dog-training program at SCI Chester, part of the Pennsylvania Department of Corrections, and the results are truly life-changing for the prisoners, the dogs, and the future pet owners. For these inmates, getting accepted into the WAGs Rescue dog training program is a privilege.
If they do become part of the program, these men end up living in their jail cells with the dog, and a fellow inmate, on a 24/7 basis. That’s right — the pups sleep in the inmate’s cells, which means they become their sole responsibility.
There’s a strong focus on one-on-one training, during which the inmates are tasked with teaching the dogs basic rules and tricks. The program frees up WAGs’ network of foster dogs, thus making more room for rescues in the process.
Many of these shelter dogs once faced death by euthanasia, but are now alive and well because of the inmates who wanted to help. “The dog is a reflection of what we teach them,” one inmate, Larry, told FOX29.
“So if we can teach them to be good dogs, like we would ourselves, the reward is right there.” In the video below, Larry and his fellow dog trainers prepare to say goodbye to the dogs they’ve spent so much time with. It’s time for them to go off to their forever homes. As you’ll see, each dog goes home with a letter to the new owners — written by the men who know the dogs better than anyone else.